Later this week, a powerful wave of hot air will cover central Russia. From August 5 to 7, the temperature in Moscow will rise to 32-34 degrees, in the Kaluga and Ryazan regions up to 35-36 degrees, in the Kursk and Belgorod regions – up to plus 37 degrees. The hydrometeorological center issued a “storm warning for abnormal heat.” “Komsomolskaya Pravda” continues to deal with experts: how does heat affect our health, psyche, how does it affect the chances of becoming long-livers? Professor and cardiologist Philip Kopylov told KP that the heat is seriously affecting the cardiovascular system. And he named the signs when a treatment adjustment may be necessary, a change in the dose of prescribed drugs.
And how does abnormally hot weather affect age-related changes in our bodies? Is it true that aging is accelerating, the loss of skin elasticity, or are those fears exaggerated? We talked about this with the director of the UNN Institute for the Biology of Aging that bears his name. Lobachevsky, the presenter of the Telegram channel “The Way of Longevity”, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Moskalev.
EVOLUTIONARY “INSURANCE” DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK
– As a result of the long evolution of man, the enzymes in our body (one of the driving forces of metabolism. – Ed.) are adapted to work effectively under certain environmental conditions. Among the most important factors are temperature and acidity. At the same time, the range of optimal temperatures is quite narrow, explains the scientist. – When it is too hot or too cold, special defense mechanisms are activated in the body. However, its possibilities are not limitless. Therefore, people experience overheating or hypothermia.
As Gennady Neudakhin, chief first aid specialist at the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, told KP, studies have shown that the risk of overheating of the body is especially high when the ambient temperature approaches normal human body temperature. That is, with heat in the region of 36-37 degrees. At the same time, if people have some kind of disease, the heat transfer may be affected. So heat stroke is likely at a lower temperature.
HOW SUPERHEATING RUNS US OUT OF OXYGEN
What exactly happens during overheating, and how does it affect various processes, including age-related changes associated with human aging? Alexey Moskalev listed the possible consequences:
1. In case of overheating, the work of some important proteins for metabolism is disrupted. Such failures in the neurons of the brain can lead to loss of consciousness.
2. With an increase in body temperature, the ability of hemoglobin to saturate the body with oxygen decreases. It also reduces the excretion of carbon dioxide. This can negatively affect the work of all organs and tissues.
3. A new increase in temperature can cause irreversible damage to the structure of the proteins that make up all our cells (this phenomenon is called protein denaturation).
– Denatured proteins clump into insoluble aggregates, which reduces cell viability, – says Professor Moskalev. – Similar processes, only slowly, develop in people with age, causing cell aging.
– Alexei, it turns out that overheating in the heat causes, accelerates aging?
– There is an important nuance. If the temperature rise is short-term, then the protective mechanisms (so-called heat shock proteins, etc.) have time to work. Our cells can even transition to a higher level of protection against future damage. Delays aging. For example, such effects are observed with regular visits to a bath or sauna (if a person does not have contraindications for health reasons. – Ed.). However, if overheating is strong or prolonged, then protein damage can negatively affect well-being.
– Is it a temporary ailment or a true aging of the body? Recently, a publication by biologists from the UK was published, which found that people’s metabolism speeds up in conditions of extreme heat. And a number of scientists believe that the higher the metabolism, the faster aging occurs.
– Of course, the constant influence of temperature is important for life expectancy. For example, experiments have shown that if cold-blooded animals are kept at a lower ambient temperature, their lives can be prolonged. As for warm-blooded animals, when mice with a disturbed hypothalamus (it houses the body’s thermoregulation center. – Ed.) had their body temperature slightly lower, they also lived longer. However, studies on the relationship between metabolic rate, aging and life expectancy in people today are not enough to draw unequivocal conclusions.
In any case, the heat in our country does not last long enough to be able to talk about its significant impact on the rate of aging, the scientist believes.
TO THE POINT
Heat increases the damage of sugar to the skin.
Doctors never tire of repeating that excess sugar harms our skin and the whole body as a whole. In the heat, this damage can be aggravated, warns Aleksey Moskalev. The scientist gave a convincing argument that can discourage the craving for sweets in many. At least, for those who seek to maintain youth and attractiveness.
“High blood glucose levels associated with increased temperatures in the heat can accelerate the aging process of the skin,” says the expert. – Since such conditions contribute to the formation of cross-links of skin protein molecules, collagen and elastin.
Let’s explain: such processes negatively affect both the structure and appearance of the skin. In particular, the formation of wrinkles is activated.
“For this reason, in hot weather, it is worth limiting the consumption of sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages,” advises the director of the UNN Institute of Aging Biology.
THIS WILL BE USEFUL
Seven “rules of the game” in hot weather from Professor Moskalev
At the request of “KP”, the scientist listed what measures he takes for good health in hot weather and advises others.
1. Try to stay in cool rooms, especially during the hottest part of the day (12-3-4pm).
2. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing made of natural materials that allow the skin to breathe.
3. Remember to wear a hat to protect yourself from direct sunlight (an uncovered head increases the risk of sunstroke).
4. Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Alcohol and coffee can aggravate dehydration, so it is advisable to limit them in the heat (or make up for water loss after drinking such drinks. – Ed.).
5. Avoid outdoor physical activity during the hottest hours of the day. If you have to do physical work, try to do it during the coolest hours or in an air-conditioned room.
6. Use a sunscreen with a high level of UV protection.
7. Watch for signs of overheating such as: dizziness, weakness, headache, or nausea. If these symptoms appear, find a cool place as soon as possible and try to cool down (unbutton clothing, apply cold compresses, etc.).
Important: if relief does not come within 15-20 minutes, you need to call an ambulance, first aid expert Gennady Neudakhin told KP. Also, the help of doctors is necessary if heat stroke occurs in a child, an elderly person, with chronic diseases.